E. Banga on Being a Female Rapper in Miami

If you attended last year's MIA Jamfest, a MicXChange or a WakeUpWynwood event, chances are you've noticed E. Banga -- and perhaps because her 4'11" height may have given the impression she may have given the bouncer a fake ID.

But if you are now reading about her for the first time, you may be thinking, "Who the hell is she? She hasn't even released a project." And you'd be right. She hasn't.

But equipped with a stockpile of singles, freestyles, and an upcoming EP, Banga is one of the few budding female emcees in Miami.

Crossfade hung out with the North Miami rapper to talk about that impending debut release, her feature on Amber Monique's "Picture Me Rollin'," writing for others, and doing it all while being a mother to her 5-year-old daughter.

See also: Miami's Top Ten Rappers on the Come-Up

Crossfade: How do you balance being a female rapper in Miami while raising a daughter?

E. Banga: It's so challenging. It's probably one of the hardest things I've had to do, because it's something I'm determined to do. It's like no other way out. I'm going balance the two of these things because I'm doing it for her. When I first started making I did it as a hobby; something I though I was just good at and it was fun and I'm freestyling with my brother, my homboy. We're just having a good time. I always tried to consider making it a career, but it was just fun for me at first. And then once I had her it was like no, this isn't fun anymore. I can make something of myself, do something with this and actually give my daughter a better life than I had. She my motivation, but at the same time she's what, I don't want to use the term "hold me back" but it makes it harder for me to do it at the pace I'd like to do it.

Does she know what you're doing or does she ask where you go?

No, she knows. I did a song with her on it before. She was on stage with me. She knows all of my music, even though I try to not use profanity as much as possible, but she knows. Kids aren't stupid. You're human. You're not going to catch it every time. She'll even bleep out the words when she knows she's not supposed to say them. But she knows all of my songs. She's probably, I'd say, my biggest fan. She knows all the time, "Mama, you're going to go do a show," "Ok, you can wear this," You're going to look pretty," "How long are you going to be there." "My mom is rapper."

Ever ask for her opinion?

Yeah, I do. Because kids, I feel, are the most sincere. They're going to let you know exactly how they feel, and they always say when kids like something that when you know you have a hit. Once they know the song or they like the song that's when you know you have something good.

I'll sing a hook to her. I'll be writing in front of her, and she'll hear me singing it. It's funny, because at times when I don't think she's listening, I'll hear her singing a song I wrote that I didn't even show her. I'm just writing it and humming it or just spitting it next to her then I'll hear her out of no where like (hums). I'm like, "What are you singing," she's like, "You're song."

See also: Ten Best Miami Rap Anthems Ever

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Lee Castro

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